Shannon Hiller-Webb

Marketing & Communications Director



Community Investment in Green Zebra Grocery

The Opportunity

Small + Healthy + Local = Green Zebra Grocery

The 20 Minute Neighborhood

“Imagine being able to do all of the necessary and enjoyable things that make life great within 20 minutes of your home. The magic of cities is that they have the potential to provide most things people need for inspired living—open spaces (planned and natural), grocery stores, workplaces, libraries, events, public and private schools—within a concentrated area. Less time spent in transit means more time for family and friends, leisure activities and other meaningful experiences.”  - Mark Edlin, Gerding Edlin Development

The idea of the 20 minute neighborhood has caught on. The Portland Plan sets an objective for 2030 calling for “vibrant neighborhoods in which 90% of Portland residents can easily walk or bicycle to meet all basic daily, non-work needs.”

Small neighborhood grocery stores are vital to achieving the 20 minute neighborhood. Green Zebra Grocery offers easy access within walking distance from the home to healthy and local food options, friendly neighborhood service and fair prices.


Small is the New Big

Retailers everywhere are downsizing. Superstore food giant, Walmart, has gone small-- from building massive 100,000 SF supercenters to building what they call “neighborhood” express stores, which are around 25,000 SF. UK’s Tesco has over the past several years opened 185 small format Fresh and Easy stores in the United States. These stores are designed to attract the neighborhood, healthy-minded convenience consumer. In addition, Target is opening stores in urban locations that are about 2/3 the size of their normal footprint, in a bid to grow their sales.

There are several factors that are influencing this move to smaller:

1   The economy: The recent recession and the explosive growth of e-commerce has created a new reality for retailers. Over the past few years retailers have been scrambling to unload real estate and shrink stores to meet the new economic conditions we live in.

2   Higher fuel costs: Consumers are conserving their resources, bundling trips and trying to shop as close to home as possible to save on the high cost of fuel. Nearly three-fourths of working Americans say they are consolidating their shopping trips and making purchases on the home-work-home commute route, where they spend an average of nearly 45 minutes per day.

3   Urban Demand: Big box stores have traditionally been located in the suburbs because there is ample space, it’s cheaper to build and it lacks the zoning obstacles that cities require. Cities have population density and retailers like Target, Walmart and Office Depot see the opportunity to grow their sales and profits by opening urban stores.

4   Consumer demand for eating healthy, local and organic. Eating local has become the new normal. This is because food that is grown locally is more sustainable, is better for the environment, and tastes better. Sales of organic foods grew by nearly 10% this past year, surpassing the $30 billion dollar mark for the first time. Convenience store retailers are responding to consumer demand for healthy and organic foods by adding salads, fruits and vegetables to their selection.

Convenience Store Channel Thriving

While the big guys have been busy going small, “the smalls” are expanding in record numbers. 7-Eleven has grown their franchise with record breaking years in 2011 & 2012 and show no signs of slowing anytime soon. Internationally, they opened 4600 units in 2011, 600 of which were in North America and opened another 630 US and Canadian locations in 2012. The entire convenience channel is growing by upwards of 4% and four convenience store chains have landed on the list of Inc Magazine’s top 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the United States. What’s the reason for their explosive growth? Accessibility/walkability to their locations is one big reason and they are beginning to offer expanded/ improved food service options to consumers hungry for higher quality and more nutritious foods.

Everyday Shop

It used to be that the main shopper of the family was a stay at home mom who went to the grocery store once a week and came back with 10 bags of groceries. That way of shopping has gone the way of wood paneled station wagons. Today, people are shopping more frequently—often every day, and the average shopper is often a working woman with kids, a single person and even a stay at home dad! Green Zebra Grocery is meant to be shopped every day and even every meal! Come in the morning for a great cup of coffee…not the usual convenience store sludge—but delicious, locally roasted Stumptown coffee. And while you are there for your morning latte, pick up a bagel with smear and Pacific Northwest lox or visit our fresh yogurt bar with an array of healthy toppings like granola and fresh fruit. For lunch and dinner, there’s a variety of sandwiches on seven grain ciabatta bread, salads made daily, housemade soups and healthy, hot meals to go. What could be more convenient? A pick up window you say? Yep, we have it!

Modern Product Mix

Convenience is having a carefully edited selection of products for your everyday needs. Each product category is thoughtfully curated and focused on maximizing sales in every square foot of sales space. An entire store of best selling natural, organic and local foods along with everyday essentials like Diet Coke and Cheerios. This hybrid product mix of natural and conventional foods eliminates barriers to customers and attracts not only the dedicated natural foods customers but also the “opportunity or crossover customer”.

The Neighborhood Butcher

A fresh meat case in a convenience store? Of course because healthy, humanely raised meat and sustainable seafood are the center of the plate and a trip generator to the grocery store in the evening.

Value Proposition

Value Proposition: Our model’s value proposition is based on Convenient, Healthy and Local. We are fulfilling needs beyond just price--we are positioning ourselves higher up the food chain, so to speak. Green Zebra Grocery is a lifestyle brand that people want to align themselves with, so we don’t have to rely as much on price promtions to drive sales. This isn’t to say that we won’t be priced fairly. We will. But we’ll use a variable margin pricing strategy that allows us to be competitively priced on items that eaters readily know the price of, like milk, bread and yogurt and we’ll be priced higher on prepared foods and value- added foods.

Convenient Small stores introduce a new level of convenience to the Green Zebra Grocery customer. The convenience of a store located right in their neighborhood. The convenience of a small, easy to navigate space. The convenience of being able to shop in-person for their perishables, while at the same time picking up a carefully selected assortment of goods across all categories. In this environment, convenience means access combined with functionality.

Healthy The success of Natural Foods stores proves that there are a great number of consumers who crave healthy and delicious food options. By creating a smaller store format, Green Zebra Grocery is reaching even further into the city’s neighborhoods, allowing more people to celebrate their shared interests in natural lifestyles and local, sustainable food systems.

Local Local means “locally owned and operated” as well as sourcing our products regionally whenever possible as strengthening our regional food economy is a key part of our mission.



Please sign in or sign up to comment.